On 22nd April 2019, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed plans to compete with other cab-hailing companies like Bolt and Uber. It intends to roll out autonomous ride-sharing cars called robotaxis. The robotaxis will operate on the Tesla Network.
The robotaxis will be any Tesla vehicle with autonomous driving functions. Musk has confirmed that, by 2020, there will be over one million robotaxis on the roads. He said that the robotaxis will be a lot cheaper than the regular Uber rides. It will also give the owners of Tesla vehicles the opportunity to make up to $30,000 per year.
“The fundamental message that customers should be taking today is that it is financially insane to buy anything other than a Tesla.”
Tesla owners can turn their cars into robotaxis by simply adding it to the Tesla Network platform via the company app. Riders can also get the robotaxis the same way they use other ride-hailing apps via the same Tesla app. The only difference would be that there won’t be a driver in the car.
Driving the future
The futuristic technology may not get approval from many regions in the United States immediately. Although Musk has acknowledged the regulatory limitations, he is confident that the program will roll out in some parts of the country next year.
He also confirms that the robotaxi rides will be about 70% cheaper than what other ride-hailing companies offer. Tesla owner who put their cars up for the service are also expected to make around $30,000 a year as a profit.
At the invite-only autonomous day event, Musk also revealed that a new microchip that would be included in every Tesla produced henceforth. The CEO described the microchip as the best in the world. It is a special high-performance chip built for safety in autonomous cars.
The cars will also have level 5 autonomy with no geofence. This means that they will have the capacity to drive anywhere in the world, under any conditions, without restrictions. This apparently will be the first of its kind.
Musk also revealed that the company will soon start making cars that will last over a million miles with little maintenance required.